1986 Holden Calais Reviews

1986 Holden Calais VL 3.0L SOHC Straight 6 from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 3.0L SOHC Straight 6 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired280000 kilometres
Most recent distance320000 kilometres
Previous carHolden Commodore

Faults:

Nothing with this particular one, however I owned an VL Commodore SL previously and it had the typical VL Commodore problems like the crank angle sensor, it went through 3 starter motors and the synchro in 2nd gear started to go after a while.

Apart from that I was extremely lucky to get a fairly reliable and well looked after VL. My new VL (the Calais) is in a class of its own. It has been almost completely rebuilt, however not in an over the top way. It's no show pony, but it is definitely one of the nicest daily driven VL's I've ever seen.

General Comments:

OK I'm not going to go into too much detail on my current VL because, like I said above, it has been almost completely rebuilt. It's like a new car, so I don't think it's a fair representation of all VL's, so I'll try to keep it fairly general as I have owned another VL previously.

Alright, well let's start with styling. While it's not everyone's cup of tea, I think it's the best looking Commodore full stop. It is obviously a first generation Commodore, but it looks quiet a bit different to the VB-VK models, which in my opinion is great, I like things a bit different. Interior wise, it's definitely an 80's car with the plastic, boxy looking dash and fairly average looking seats, which are actually fairly comfortable.

As for the engine, well as some of you may know, Nissan's RB series of engines are legendary and while this may not be the king of the RB's, it certainly has enough grunt to have a bit of fun and not get too bored. I unfortunately haven't driven a turbo VL, but my Calais has a little bit of engine work done, and in theory has about the same amount of power as the standard turbo model. In my opinion, while it definitely isn't a rocket, it isn't a slouch either.

There were a choice of three gearbox's to go with these engines. The MF5 5 speed manual from the non-turbos, the MX7 from the turbo models and of course the 4 speed auto. As I said above, both my VL's were non turbos so I've only had the experience of the MF6, which is fairly good with the only problem usually being that the synchro for 2nd gear doesn't like living for very long. Apart from that I can't complain.

Overall, I would definitely recommend the VL Commodore for someone who doesn't necessarily want a speedy car, but just wants something that looks cool, is comfortable on long trips and has a multitude of aftermarket parts if you ever get bored with it... These cars have a cult following, and after owning 2 of them, I'm hooked also.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2009

1986 Holden Calais VL Turbo Sedan 3.0L turbo six (3.0) from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.0L turbo six (3.0) Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired74000 kilometres
Most recent distance86000 kilometres

Faults:

Fuel pump kicked it in (running it on almost empty consistently).

Passenger power window played up.

General Comments:

This car flies.

Mods include: Nizpro oil pump and water pump, Nizpro camshaft, Nizpro cam sprocket, Nizpro plenum intake, Nizpro headers, Nizpro intercooler, throttle body, floating carillo rods, Cosworth pistons, Garret ball bearing turbo, Nizpro dual boost control, Motec ECU, VT front brakes, Bosch 984 pumps. 18x8.5 ANZ bags.

That's all I can remember off the top of my head, but I have spent a fortune getting this car where I want it, but it has paid off with a recent dyno run of 589bhp, so I'm happy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 2003

1st Feb 2005, 23:47

Hey mate do you want to sell it.

1986 Holden Calais HDT LE RB30ET 3.0L 6 cylinder turbo from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission RB30ET 3.0L 6 cylinder turbo Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired119000 kilometres
Most recent distance123000 kilometres
Previous carHolden Calais

Summary:

Rare Classic. If you want a Brock, look into a Calais LE

Faults:

Nothing - previous owner went through 3 crank angle sensors over 8 years. The previous owner also had the 5sp MX7 rebuilt.

General Comments:

One of Peter Brocks finest.

There are a total of 53 Calais LE's built. There are 4 non turbo models (rare, but not overly collectable), around 30 turbo models which are the most sought after, and around 20 V8 models.

The option list is extensive : 16x7" Momo Stars, full LE kit, sunroof, painted bodykits and wheels, mobile phone, scheel interior (front seats and full interior), rust protection, upgraded Bilstein suspension, LSD, Cobra alarm system and Eurovox sound system.

Calais LE was available in any colour with 1 special colour - Evening Blue.

Some tips when looking for a Calais LE.

* Make sure you buy one with full scheel interior.

* Beware of fakes! Get it checked with HDT (phone them up).

* Beware of thrashed cars - You pay for what you get!

* These cars are a huge theft risk.

I have owned one of these ultra rare beauties - a Calais LE turbo fully optioned in Evening blue and 5 speed transmission. The car was an absolute dream to drive with pretty low kms for the car. It was very smooth and reliable. The car was exceptionally well maintained which meant for faultless motoring. I would not recommend owning one of these cars as a daily car - they aare a huge threat risk. I would not leave mine out of sight!

I highly recommend one of these cars if you can find an optioned turbo model that has been well looked after, and if you are happy to keep the car for occasional driving and you have somewhere safe to keep it. Just remember, expect to pay top dollar for such an example - prices can exceed $20k.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st July, 2003

24th Jun 2004, 02:20

Hi I have seen one and it is a silver\gray color and it is original.

3rd Oct 2005, 05:26

Would agree with you 100%. Love too own one myself.

25th Oct 2009, 21:55

Not all HDT LE Calais came with the sheel interior. Some came with the stock Calais interior.

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 7 reviews